Last night while I was swimming in the pool I normally swim in, I found out the pool is 25 meters, not 25 yards. That means when I thought I was hammering out 15K yards a week, I was actually hammering out 16,200 yards. I guess from a sheer "more-is-better" training quantity perspective that's good news. Unfortunately, all the swimming I did only amounted to trimming 5 minutes off my first half-IM distance swim. I still question question whether the two swim distances. A true apples-to-apples comparison will be going back to my first Iron Man and reswimming, which I plan on doing.
I sat down and worked out my training schedule up until IMAZ and have 23 weeks (starting next week when my next block begins) or 5.75 months. I'm adding 2 hours of strength per week: 1 hour BOSU and another hour plyometrics. I really don't like lifting weights; it seems to make you really tired, sore, and slow, and the noticeable difference is minimal. I'd rather do something that will strengthen my core and build my balance and is entertaining. This may or may not translate to faster splits, but it may prevent future injury and keep me well rounded. Other things I plan on doing new in this training block is 10 open water swims before IMAZ, to get myself accustomed to sighting, currents, wakes, and whatever else is slowing me down. The training weeks range in 15 hours to 25 hours of training with a 10 hour recovery week. I'm going to do less road racing (1 race) lots of TTs and 3 tris (2 half-iron man;1 Olympic). I'm going to take my running a little slower this time and build up and stay with my current Vdot category rather than a desired Vdot speed. Finally, my goal is to swim with the masters 3 times a week and add 1 continuous endurance swim. I will also do 1 hour of yoga a week to keep me from getting too tight.
This is a fairly aggressive training schedule, but I think I'm good for it. I want to show up for IMAZ knowing I didn't hold back on my training--NO EXCUSES!. I'm going to re shift my mindset from racing to qualify for Kona to finishing respectably--this will be my first full Iron Man, after all. Too much pressure can lead to bad training/racing decisions. I still have plenty of time to mature in the sport.
Training's a funny thing. Every year when I was planning my road racing schedule, I'd add some new technique or approach that I hoped would push me over to being that great cyclist I wanted to be. PowerCranks, fixed gear bike, off season running, weight lifting, a coach, or extreme weight loss; it was always something. But, ultimately, the best thing I've found is simple: consistency. Day in, day out, training. This isn't to say continuous large quantities of training, but consistent, strategic training. That's when I'd see most of my gains.